Uber uses psychological tricks through cleverly designed apps to make their drivers work longer hours and earn more money for the company, according to a recently released report by the New York Times.
Most Uber drivers don't have the traditional 9am-5pm schedule. They have free range to set their own pace while working.
However, Uber software introduces earning targets and uses them as incentives when drivers try to log off
In the past, Uber has also experimented with video game techniques, graphics and non-payment rewards, which are used to encourage drivers to work longer and harder.
For example, Uber has utilized a tactic known as earning goals, which in their case, alerts drivers that they are very close to hitting a target when they try to log off the company's driving app.
Uber uses psychological tricks through cleverly designed apps to make their drivers (file) work longer hours and earn more money for the company, according to a recently released report
This means the company has a clever algorithm set up that sends drivers their next job before their current ride is over.
'We show drivers areas of high demand or incentivize them to drive more,' Michael Amodeo, an Uber spokesman, told the Times.
Amodeo made sure to mention that the 'decision whether or not to drive is 100 per cent theirs'.
And in reality it is, and there is technically no coercion. However, the added emphasis on reaching a goal, can be tempting for employees to just keep driving.
Uber has also made efforts to create a more cheery atmosphere, especially after the company's chief executive, Travis Kalanick, was caught on camera on Super Bowl Sunday shouting 'bulls***' at Uber driver Fawzi Kamel who confronted him at the end of a ride in San Francisco for lowering prices.
The footage added to the company's growing list of woes.
Uber is already facing horrific allegations that sexism, racism and homophobia are commonplace throughout its offices from former female employees who say they were routinely harassed.
And in order to combat those woes, Uber has taken a softer approach toward drivers in an attempt to compete with rival Lyft, which is known for being driver-friendly.
According to the Times, Uber exists in a type of legal and ethical purgatory because its drivers are independent contractors, who don't have most of the protections associated with employment.
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